Purpose – The main research aim was to investigate relationships among teachers' occupational stress, coping, teacher self‐efficacy and relevant teachers' perceptions of curriculum changes in a major educational reform. Design/methodology/approach – A theoretical framework that included the attribution of responsibility for stress model, aspects of social cognitive theory and perceptions of the changes to the HSC, was used to guide the study. Multilevel variance decomposition and structural equation modelling were employed. Findings – Stress attributions to personal and organizational domains were associated with the teachers' perceived stress from implementation of the new curriculum. Furthermore, results suggested that these teachers may have coped with stress associated with the changes using palliative strategies rather than direct problem solving. Teachers' greater understanding of what the curriculum changes entailed was associated with lower teacher self‐efficacy. Practical implications – Emphasises that curriculum reform cannot be carried out in a vacuum, and that teachers' mental models or schemata of the education system within which they work are likely to influence their interpretations of the reform and its implementation. Analyses provide insights into teachers' cognition in relation to stress and self‐efficacy during curriculum change. Originality/value – The nature of the reform, which was the focus of this study, is relatively rare, for both the magnitude of the curriculum change and the size of the education system (750,000 students) involved.
Journal of Educational Administration – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2006
Keywords: Educational policy; Stress; Self assessment; Curriculum development
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